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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

How a decent company can be prosecuted criminally

At the end of last month, the NOS headlined: ‘ Complaint against Rijksmuseum for using term ‘bersiap’ in exhibition ‘. The report against the Rijksmuseum was made by the Committee of Dutch Eredebts, a foundation that stands up for victims of Dutch colonialism. The Indonesian term Bersiap (Dutch: be ready) was used as a rallying cry by young Indonesian independence fighters.

During Indonesia’s violent struggle for independence. According to the foundation, using the term in an exhibition would be racist and offensive. As a result of the report, the Rijksmuseum is facing a fine and a lot of negativity. How is it possible that an organization such as the Rijksmuseum can become part of a criminal case? I explain it in this blog.

Read more: Shlomo Rechnitz – The Jerusalem Post

Pursuant to the Penal Code, criminal offenses can be committed not only by natural persons, but also by legal entities. Examples include BVs that commit fraud because they are involved in criminal offenses such as bribery, forgery or fraud. But also think of bankruptcy fraud, violation of environmental legislation (as with Tata Steel) and even – as in the example of the Rijksmuseum – insult and discrimination.

It is important that the criminal offense can reasonably be attributed to the legal entity . Whether attribution is possible depends on the circumstances of the case. An important point of reference is whether the criminal conduct took place or was carried out within the sphere of the legal entity. This may be the case in one or more of the following cases:

  • it concerns acts or omissions of someone who is employed by the legal person or otherwise works for the benefit of the legal person;
  • the behavior fits within the normal business operations of the legal person;
  • the conduct has been beneficial to the legal entity;
  • the legal entity had the power to allow the conduct to take place or not and similar conduct was accepted by the legal entity.

Criminal law and your company

Your organization can also be confronted with criminal law from one day to the next. Anyone who believes that your company has committed a criminal offense can report it. A report may lead to the Public Prosecution Service deciding to prosecute your company. The Public Prosecution Service has made frequent use of the possibility of prosecuting legal entities in recent years. And the Public Prosecution Service does not only aim its persecution arrows at multinationals.

A criminal case will have major consequences for you and your company. Consider, for example, reputational damage, the loss of customers and the departure of employees. Not to mention the possible punishment to be imposed. Has a complaint been filed against your company or is a criminal investigation ongoing? Then it is advisable to call in a lawyer as soon as possible. This prevents or reduces harmful consequences. Are you curious what we can do for you? Then contact us quickly.

And the report against the Rijksmuseum?

Fortunately for the Amsterdam museum, the Public Prosecution Service dismissed the report because, according to the Public Prosecution Service, the use of the term Bersiap falls under freedom of expression. Despite the negative publicity, further adverse consequences for the Rijksmuseum seem to have been prevented for the time being. Incidentally, a complaint was also filed against the director, a curator and a guest curator of the Rijksmuseum. My next blog will be about the criminal liability of natural persons involved in a company (such as directors and supervisors).

Uneeb Khan
Uneeb Khan
Uneeb Khan CEO at blogili.com. Have 4 years of experience in the websites field. Uneeb Khan is the premier and most trustworthy informer for technology, telecom, business, auto news, games review in World.

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